Carlsen to Start With White in Chennai - UPDATE: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11/7/13, 8:20 AM.

Magnus Carlsen will play with the white pieces in his first game of the World Championship match against Viswanathan Anand on Saturday in Chennai, India. This was the result of the drawing of colors performed by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalithaa at the opening ceremony, on Thursday afternoon at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. Earlier, during a press conference, Anand had revealed that this seconds are Krishnan Sasikiran, Chanda Sandipan, Radek Wojtaszek and Peter Leko. Carlsen did not want to name his helpers.

On Thursday the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalithaa inaugurated the World Chess Championship Match at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. The ceremony took less than two hours (one journalist was somewhat relieved as he rememberd the 4.5-hour ceremony of the Anand-Kamsky's quarter-final match in July 1994!) and included a long speech by Jayalalithaa as well as cultural shows.

Both players were cheered upon by about five thousand spectators (the official press release remarkably speaks of twenty thousand but the stadium can only hold eight thousand, and it wasn't sold out) as they entered the stage, where a speech was given by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also handed over a certificate of Honorary Member of FIDE to the Chief Minister.

Jayalalithaa was a popular film star in Indian cinema before her entry into politics in the earlu 1980s. She is in her third term as Chief Minister for the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In her speech she welcomed both players and praised Anand as "the biggest sportsman of India", but most of the time was spent on mentioning all the funds she had created for chess thus far.

Jayalalithaa, who was responsible for the 29 Crore rupees budget for the match, was also involved in the most important moment of the ceremony as far as the chess players were concerned: the drawing of colors.

She picked a photo of Anand from one box (causing another big cheer from the crowd, especially the many children)...

...and a black piece from the other.

This meant that Anand will start as Black and play with this color in games 1, 3, 5 in the first half. From games seven the colours will reverse, so in the second half Anand will be playing White in games 7, 9 and 11. The match will be a 12-game contest with the first player to reach 6.5 winning the title. In case of 6-6, a tiebreak with a shorter time control will decide.

The bigger part of the ceremony consisted of cultural shows by Indian Bharathanatyam dancers and musicians and also by five Norwegian theme dancers. Carlsen was not showing too much interest as he was mostly reading a book on the match that was handed out at the start of the event.

Earlier on Thursday the players attended the opening press conference in the Hyatt hotel. It was a brief and quite chaotic affair, as about 150 media representatives had come and dozens of photographers were blocking the view of several video cameras.

Anand revealed that his seconds are Krishnan Sasikiran, Chanda Sandipan, Radek Wojtaszek and Peter Leko. The latter, who has worked with Anand before, lost the 2004 world title match to Vladimir Kramnik.

Carlsen kept his cards close to his chest, and did not mention any names. "I appreciate my opponent's openness, but alas, I am not going to return the favor." Anand then hinted that his list of names was not conclusive. "I can answer a question honestly and you will never know if it's the full truth or not." Rumour has it that the World Champion is also helped by Kramnik via Skype. 

Below is our video of the events on Thursday.

And here is a brief clip by Jason Stoneking, who asked Anand about the match back in April at the Alekhine Memorial in Paris.

Below you can watch the full press conference:

GM Jonathan Rowson is among the minority of people who think that Anand will win the match. In his column he reflected on the press conference:

Magnus looked uncomfortable to me. I know it’s his first World Championship match, and only his second time in India, but he seemed slightly distracted, periodically defensive, and generally lacking in self-possession. I felt there were insufficient butterflies in his stomach, as if he saw this as just another press conference, before just another tournament.

In contrast, Vishy looked great. He was relaxed and charming, but also seemed concentrated, like he was fully prepared, and was already enjoying the prospect of the tension ahead. Unlike Carlsen, he seemed to have plenty of butterflies, and they were flying in formation.

15911 reads 71 comments
8 votes


  • 3 years ago


    I too would like to know what pieces they are using and see photos.

    I'd also like a translation of the question Carlsen said he shouldn't translate into English.  He gave his answer in Norwegian.  Anyone find a translation of either the Q or A?

  • 3 years ago


    The fear of a threat is often worse than facing the threat itself and in this case Carlsen keeping his seconds as a mystery (even if there is speculation in the Anand camp as to who they may be) leaves that threat hanging! It's just like playing right into your opponents pet line...the question becomes has he got some novelty prepared for me or is he bluffing? Of course it works both ways and as Anand says neither one of them expect Truth from the other! I love the "drama" BUT I think we're now ready for the match to start and see who has the best moves AT THE BOARD!!

  • 3 years ago


    What kind of chess set are they using for the match?  Specially made for the match or off-the-shelf?  Who makes it?  Any pictures of it?

  • 3 years ago


    What I'd really like to know is ... what was the question (and answer) during the press conference that was asked in Norwegian (I assume) that Carlsen thought best not to translate into English and answered in Norwegian?

  • 3 years ago


    Revealing of seconds just before the match; shows Anand is a real gentleman. Very open and forthcoming.

    Just like in the olden days; wars were fought only between Dawn to Dusk; as soon as the sun set; neither of the warriors attacked each other!!

    But Carlsen....

  • 3 years ago


    Seconds ... are like coaches and help the players play at their best.  They can help analyze what went well, and where improvements can be made.  As long as the contestant is the one playing the game, I see no problems with having seconds available.  It would be pretty difficult to 'isolate' players during long matches or tournaments to ensure they had no outside contact with 'rated' players ... and I don't think the game of chess would be any better for it.

    I suspect each player has a pretty good idea of who is working with the other, and it may be a fluid situation, so not sure that 'naming names' would be all that relevant anyways.

  • 3 years ago


    @Fixing_A_Hole: Maybe he thinks that Anand can draw conclusions about his opening preperation. For example, if there were a Sicilian Dragon specialist among his seconds, then maybe Anand would know that Carlsen prepared that opening.

    Revealing his seconds most certainly does not help him win the title.

  • 3 years ago


    Smart on carlsens part to to reveal who helped him..... I agree with ricardoruben.... I thought the samething... but I guess thats how it goes.... but with carlsen starting with the white pieces I think he needs to make a statement in the first game.... I think he needs to take the fight to anand if he wants to win.... ( just my thoughts ) but im still going for anand to win this match due to experience and carlsen cracking under pressure in the candiates tournment

  • 3 years ago


    I can not understand why it is necessary to have a team behind you for a world title match. For them to be really the winners (on themselves) they should be able to train as much as they want with other players, but from the first game of the match to the last, they should be on their own, not being able to communicate with any other rated player. For me that would be to win on your own (just a point of view, of course).

  • 3 years ago


    Why wouldn't Magnus say?  

  • 3 years ago


    Leko has a plus score against Carlsen.  One of the few in the world who does.  So it makes perfect sense.

  • 3 years ago


    Anand does not need to win any games. He just have to play for a draw in each game.

  • 3 years ago


    In chess matches a person's Second means coach/advisor. They don't do anything with the player during a game, but will help with analysis and plans between games.

  • 3 years ago


    Well, for years it's been natural that WC pretenders have their teams. It's nothing bad in my opinion. Finally only two guys are sitting behind the board.

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    Watch Pattikada Pattanama.

  • 3 years ago


    what does seconds mean? is this championship match anand vs carlsen or a group of 5 gms including anand on 1 side and a group of gms including carlsen on the other side?

  • 3 years ago


    Oh no, Leko as a second! Expect many draws!

  • 3 years ago


    Leko as one of the seconds - nice!

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